IanG on Tap

Ian Griffiths in Weblog Form (RSS 2.0)

Blog Navigation

August (2014)

(1 item)

July (2014)

(5 items)

April (2014)

(1 item)

March (2014)

(1 item)

January (2014)

(2 items)

November (2013)

(2 items)

July (2013)

(4 items)

April (2013)

(1 item)

February (2013)

(6 items)

September (2011)

(2 items)

November (2010)

(4 items)

September (2010)

(1 item)

August (2010)

(4 items)

July (2010)

(2 items)

September (2009)

(1 item)

June (2009)

(1 item)

April (2009)

(1 item)

November (2008)

(1 item)

October (2008)

(1 item)

September (2008)

(1 item)

July (2008)

(1 item)

June (2008)

(1 item)

May (2008)

(2 items)

April (2008)

(2 items)

March (2008)

(5 items)

January (2008)

(3 items)

December (2007)

(1 item)

November (2007)

(1 item)

October (2007)

(1 item)

September (2007)

(3 items)

August (2007)

(1 item)

July (2007)

(1 item)

June (2007)

(2 items)

May (2007)

(8 items)

April (2007)

(2 items)

March (2007)

(7 items)

February (2007)

(2 items)

January (2007)

(2 items)

November (2006)

(1 item)

October (2006)

(2 items)

September (2006)

(1 item)

June (2006)

(2 items)

May (2006)

(4 items)

April (2006)

(1 item)

March (2006)

(5 items)

January (2006)

(1 item)

December (2005)

(3 items)

November (2005)

(2 items)

October (2005)

(2 items)

September (2005)

(8 items)

August (2005)

(7 items)

June (2005)

(3 items)

May (2005)

(7 items)

April (2005)

(6 items)

March (2005)

(1 item)

February (2005)

(2 items)

January (2005)

(5 items)

December (2004)

(5 items)

November (2004)

(7 items)

October (2004)

(3 items)

September (2004)

(7 items)

August (2004)

(16 items)

July (2004)

(10 items)

June (2004)

(27 items)

May (2004)

(15 items)

April (2004)

(15 items)

March (2004)

(13 items)

February (2004)

(16 items)

January (2004)

(15 items)

Blog Home

RSS 2.0

Writing

Programming C# 5.0

Programming WPF

Other Sites

Interact Software

Stupid Automatic Update

Saturday 21 May, 2005, 10:29 AM

I configure all my Windows machines to download updates automatically but to ask me before applying them.

So why, this morning, when I brought my laptop out of hibernation, and went upstairs to put some coffee on while it paged its world back into memory off disk, did I return downstairs to see it in the process of shutting down, rudely ignoring the complaints from the various Notepad windows I had open, containing unsaved notes about stuff I was doing?

When it rebooted and I logged back in, it helpfully told me it had installed an update for me.

Something had changed my automatic update settings to Automatic. And it wasn't me - I leave a lot of state hanging around on my desktop, and it often takes me a good 2 hours to get to the point where I can log out without losing track of what I was doing. I tend to go for weeks between reboots. In fact it's only the arrival of a new update requiring a reboot that prompts me to clear my local stack of work.

So I really resent the fact that it just logged me off without even asking if it was OK. Well, maybe it did pop up some kind of "you have 2 minutes to reply" dialog. I wouldn't know. I logged in before going upstairs, because it usually takes a couple of minutes after logging in before the machine settles down. (My RSS reader tends to go a little crazy when it's reconnected to the network after a period of disconnection or hibernation.) It seems pretty mad to even offer "log off automatically, losing all work if user not present" as an option. I'm extremely pissed off that it overrode my decision not to do this.

I didn't lose anything important. Anything that would be traumatic to recreate I keep stored on a variety of disks in various places. But it did close down 15 web browser windows that were open on stuff I wanted to look through when I found time, but can no longer remember what they are... And I tend to use the arrangement of stuff that's open on my desktop as a way of remininding me what things I've got to do. That's information you can't save across logins, unfortunately. (The notes I keep open in Notepad windows are an interesting one. They're all transient - stuff I don't want to save for the long term. This is probably just me using the wrong tool - what I really want is something like Stickies on OS X.)

If it had simply crashed, then oddly enough, I wouldn't have felt so bad. It's the fact that the machine chose to throw away the state manifest in my login sessions on purpose, unnecessarily, without giving me adequate opportunity to stop it, and in contravention of the update policy I had explicitly told it I wanted to use.

Stupid automatic update.

Copyright © 2002-2013, Interact Software Ltd. Content by Ian Griffiths. Please direct all Web site inquiries to webmaster@interact-sw.co.uk